Look at any dental website and you’ll see the news or blog tab at the top of the navigation bar, or nearby. I haven’t met many practice owners with the inclination to write a blog, and that’s understandable, so the job often goes to someone equally as disinclined who can’t say no.
They do their best without much in the way of experience or direction. It’s not much fun because they don’t really know what they’re supposed to be doing. If you look at a typical post, I expect you’ll feel that your needs, as a reader, are being overlooked. It’s rare to see much in the way of a human touch, and dental blogs can feel remote and boring, with such vapid titles as “Why is keeping my teeth clean important?” and “Crowns at xxxx Dental Practice”.
This presents an opportunity. Fresh content, little and often, is SEO bread and butter (we’ll give you some tips on ticking the SEO boxes another time) but, if you cut out the junk content, you will look comparatively sophisticated.
If someone in your team is already doing this work, it’s not that much of a stretch to add some value for the reader. People will notice the authenticity, and they will warm to your brand. The other thing is, interesting copy is actually much easier to write.
Here are five tips to write less boring blogs:
- People like to read about people. So instead of writing about your treatments, write about your patients. Whenever a patient is pleased with your work, ask if they’d mind being interviewed about their experience for your blog. The holy grail is to get a patient on a long term treatment plan like ortho to do a video diary for you.
- Do anniversaries, pets and babies. At your team huddle, ask if anyone has any personal stories they’d be willing to share. This could be a pet that’s struggling to overcome an illness, a sporting achievement, holidays, and it can be something sad too. It’s really just about sharing what is happening among your team, being open, and showing your human side.
- Write about what’s going on in your local area. Are there any annoying road works, or has a new cafe opened up nearby that does an amazing breakfast? This is bread and butter stuff for a business like yours that’s engaged with local people, rooted in a sense of place, and will definitely get people talking on social media.
- Do some news jacking. This is where you look out for stories in the media that might affect your patients and you reframe them to make them directly relevant. It might be to do with dentistry, for example a new report on child hospital admissions for tooth decay (where you might mention your commitment to child and parent dental education), but it could be more tangential. For example, citing a report linking rising rates of self harm among teenagers to social media, you could explore the ethical dilemmas of facial aesthetics in a world where teenagers routinely use apps like Facetune to alter their online appearance, suffering anxiety when they are seen as they really are. If that feels risky and a bit dangerous, congratulations, you’re about to write something interesting!
- Share your business plans with readers. If you are intending to grow the practice over the next year, tell them. Patients don’t mind change if they can see you are investing in the business, actually it makes them feel valued — if you communicate with them, that is. So if you’re doing renovations or extensions, or if you’re installing a fancy new scanner, take plenty of photos to go with your copy.
Good luck, and let me know if you’d like some help getting a decent blog up and running.
“Fresh content, little and often, is SEO bread and butter — but it can be more”
Zac Fine, content director